Soften our hearts, Mercy and Compassion, as evening softens our vision, as autumn softens the summer and spring softens the winter, blurring the edges and the distinctions that, in their sharpness, invite us to live sharply, harshly, and rigidly defined and defended, guarded and guarding against any of the changes that let mercy through, that let love shine, that help compassion grow, and that cultivate true peace. Soften our hearts, Mercy and Compassion, that we may be better at choosing our distinctions and what truly divides us one from another, and know better the life we share, what hopes and dreams can unite us, what teachings and wisdom and stories and song can weave us together cooperatively, what fullness and gladness of life may be from our loving and living together. Soften our hearts, Mercy and Compassion, that we may be better at choosing the truly faithful path, the path of generosity and kindness past what is convenient, prudent, or easy, the path of loving so boldly we build communities and families and friendships based in accountability and forgiveness, the path of wisdom and peacemaking that demands much of us in every day and whose rewards arrive in learning and making peace real. Soften our hearts, Mercy and Compassion, that we may join the changing world for the changes we need: for more love, for more peace, for more kindness, for more generosity, for a restored climate and for a more cooperative world. Amen.